Foaming hand soap is not really a riveting topic, but I decided when I moved that I wanted to introduce more natural products and eliminate harsh chemicals in my home where possible. I noticed how much soap we go through, how often I had to buy it, and how much it costs and thought this might be a good item to DIY. I read a bunch of tutorials and found that most bloggers talked about how easy the project was to do (key for me since I’m a noob), and how much money you can save by DIYing your soap (yay! $$$)
For the last five months we’ve been living with my parents and my mom and I have been splitting up cooking duties. I haven’t had the time to experiment too much, but here is a round up of my favorite fast causal style meals that I’ve been making lately.
This is a family favorite dish, and definitely toddler approved. It’s from my friend Cassie and I’ve linked it on my blog before (it’s just that good!). I think my favorite part is the dijon mustard and the fresh thyme. Sometimes I make this as a side to grilled meats, but it’s certainly hardy enough as a main if you eat giant bowlfuls like we do.
I’ve really missed cooking these last several weeks while our house has been on the market. I still keep up my weekly meal planning, but the cooking we do is very simple, requires no recipes, and is often done in batches to reduce the amount of cleaning we have to do. The kind of cooking I miss is cooking from recipes with specific ingredients and measurements, but also the kind of cooking that is completely improvisational. I miss cooking on the fly—looking in my refrigerator and coming up with something that may or may not work out. I did both kinds of cooking a lot before my son was born.
Meal time back then could be a risk, an adventure of sorts, because the stakes were low. If something didn’t work out or I didn’t love a new recipe, oh well. Sometimes we didn’t even finish our leftovers. (Shh, don’t tell!) But now meal time is serious business. I want to get in and out of the kitchen quickly, I want a high yield, but I also want to not get so sick of leftovers that I feel the need to order a pizza. That’s asking a lot of myself as a cook, if I’m being really honest.
But I’ve been in a rut lately. We’ve subsisted on leftovers plus a rotisserie chicken all week. Yesterday I just felt tired and unmotivated. I had a pack of ground turkey and no ideas about how I could cook it that would make me excited to eat it. The menu plan called for turkey chili, but I also leaned towards turkey burgers since I had a handful of frozen buns. My mind kept wandering to a craving for meatballs, porcupine meatballs made with Rice-a-Roni, to be exact. I told myself all the reasons this was a bad idea: it’s not a quick meal to cook, I didn’t even have Rice-a-Roni, and the recipe makes a mess (or rather I do when I cook it).
I decided to go for it anyway and just make it up as I went along.
I need to think of a better name for these posts. I’m digging doing “themed” posts. I think this works better for me since I don’t have anything too exciting to report. Last week I included some links about how to be a good guest/how to host, and this week I’m going to share some brunch links! I love brunch so much. It’s probably my favorite meal to host for friends.
I sometimes question myself for starting a lifestyle blog when there are so many big issues going on in the world right now. I made a career out of helping students find their path, and while I didn’t give it up lightly, being a stay at home mom makes me wonder at the end of each week if I could be doing more. I struggle to feel like I’m enough. I think we all do.
I am a feminist and I support social justice movements for gender, sexual, racial, ethnic and class equality. While I don’t write about these subjects, I have to believe that what I am writing about is worthwhile. Self-care, living well within your means, feeding and clothing yourself and your family, managing your time and your home, creating and appreciating art and culture, and dreaming big is universal. I’m going to keep working on this blog, reaching out, and connecting. Writing and sharing is what keeps us connected to the world, it’s what helps us make sense of it.
This has been an exhausting week! I can’t believe it’s finally Friday. We decided to take a semi-spur of the moment trip up to my hometown to visit family and friends, and also because we are considering a move! So we’ve been checking out houses and seeing if this will be a good fit for us. I gave up on trying to post three times this week. There was just no way I could manage it with packing for a trip, a very long drive on Wednesday night with a toddler, and touring houses all day today. Here is what I did do this week…
What I Ate:
Turkey Bolognese with pasta adapted from Life is But a Dish and Penney Lane: I made this last Friday and we feasted on the leftovers for several days. I even hosted an impromptu dinner with a friend on Tuesday night! It’s quick and easy and doesn’t call for anything too complicated. It paired nicely with a Pinot Noir and a Rosé, FYI. Added bonus: my kid loves homemade bolognese and ate it all up.
For your reading pleasure:
5 Reasons You Should Take a Break from Watching TV from A Beautiful Mess: I read this and said YES aloud and then told my friend Maggie. She had already read this post and we made a pact to cut TV (and then I think we both kind of failed, oops). But we are definitely down for cutting TV this summer. I’m thinking of limiting my TV to just the shows I actually look forward to each week and cutting the ones that I just let play in the background while I mess around on my iPad. I could use that time more effectively elsewhere.
Want to Change the World? Be a Writer. from Helene In Between: I was struck by these lines, “As bloggers, we have a platform, even if it sometimes seems like a small one. Our articles do have an impact. We actually can make a difference.” That’s how I felt in my previous job in higher education. I think that’s all I’ve ever wanted out of my life–to make a difference–and it’s exciting to think that I don’t have to give that up even though I’m a full-time mom and part-time blogger.
Cherry Blackout Brownies from Mouth Half Full: Cassie asked for help on a name via Twitter and I obliged. I am super curious about brownies with black beans! I’ve made chocolate chip cookies with chickpeas before, so I’m totally game for this dessert/legume combo!
On the tube:
Angie Tribeca on TBS: “Why does a baby need a music class? What, is he going to start a band?” #tooreal #mykidtakesbabymusicclasses
Tegan & Sara and the Scott Brothers team up for a video: I love Tegan & Sara, and I watch all things Property Brothers. Therefore, I think this is a match made in heaven.
I’ve made this chimichurri recipe once before and now there’s no other way I want to eat lamb. This time around I forgot to add the rosemary, but I figured it wasn’t a big deal since the lamb was seasoned with it before grilling.
On the first night we ate this, I paired dinner with Chateau Mourgues du Grès 2012 Costièere de Nimes Galet Rouges. It was Ah-mazing, and a super reasonably priced pick from our wine club at The Winehound. When we ate this for leftovers, my husband picked a 2012 Saracina Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. It really stood up to all the flavors and even tasted great after my son fed me strawberries!